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Video:How to Sit in a Saddle

with Katherine Calkins

Before you can start to ride a horse, you need to know how to properly sit in a saddle. We'll show you how.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Sit in a Saddle

This is Katherine Calkins, instructor and owner of wicked good horsemanship at the J-Six Equestrian Center in Benson, Arizona, here for About.com. Today I’m going to show you how to properly sit in the saddle so that you’re in balance with the horse and won’t fall off.

Keep Body Position Stable

So, Katey’s going to go ahead and mount up. Now, there are several lines of equitation that we want to keep in mind. The first one is our body position. We want to have a line from our ear, shoulder, hip, down to our heel. Essentially, riding is like standing accept there is a bend in your knee. You also want to think about it as. If the horse disappeared out from underneath you, would you be able to land safely on the ground. The second line of equitation we want to keep in mind is where our arm position is.

We want are upper arm to lie relaxed and straight next to our body. And then we want a straight line through our elbow, wrist, through the horse’s rein to the horse’s mouth.

How to Check Your Riding Position

One way to check your riding position is when the horse is standing…stand up in the stirrups, if you can stand safely and balanced and stay there, you know that you’re in a good balanced position. Once you find that balanced position, sit down, keep your lower leg where it is, and you’re in balance with the horse.

Mistakes in Riding Positions

There are several common mistakes in riding positions. One of them is called a chair seat where the riders leg is too far forward and their shoulders are too far back. One problem with that is that you are out of balance with the horse. Another problem is you can no longer use your legs to cue the horse to change direction.

Another common fault is when riders look down. Your head is the heaviest part of your body. When you look down you’re already started off over the horse’s shoulder and also, you’re not looking where you are going.

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